Judge Says USA FREEDOM Act May Scuttle Twitter’s Transparency Lawsuit

Judge Says USA FREEDOM Act May Scuttle Twitter’s Transparency Lawsuit

Last October, Twitter sued the Justice Department, the U.S. Attorney General, the FBI, and FBI Director James Comey, because the social media platform believed it has a First Amendment right to be fully transparent with its users about the number and nature of national security requests it receives from the government. But with the recent passing of the USA FREEDOM Act, the judge in the case says there may be no need for the lawsuit to move forward. [More]

(jayRaz)

Tech Industry Asks President To Please Not Weaken Encryption

While U.S. lawmakers recently passed legislation that would end certain types of invasive snooping by federal agencies, the Justice Dept. continues to push electronics manufacturers for backdoors that would allow law enforcement to access encrypted devices. A pair of trade groups representing a wide variety of electronics and online businesses have written President Obama asking him to consider the “global implications” of these efforts. [More]

Study: Consumers Give Up Data In Exchange For Discounts Because They Figure It’s All Out There Anyway

Study: Consumers Give Up Data In Exchange For Discounts Because They Figure It’s All Out There Anyway

You’re shopping at a store you’ve never been to before. They offer to sign you up for a loyalty card. You know it’s going to create endless postal and electronic spam for you if you accept, but they’ll give you 40% off of this order if you do. So you take the card. The store thinks they just bought your info with a discount. Are they right? [More]

Roofing Company Sends Me A Postcard Of My Own House

Roofing Company Sends Me A Postcard Of My Own House

Rebekah received an advertising flyer in the mail recently from a local roofing company. It was addressed to “Current Resident,” and she glanced at it before throwing it away. Wait…that house printed on the postcard looked familiar. It was her house. Unnerved, she sent the postcard over to us, asking, “Is this common?” [More]

4 Million Federal Employees Are The Latest Victims Of A Massive Data Breach

4 Million Federal Employees Are The Latest Victims Of A Massive Data Breach

There are millions of federal employees in the country, and not just in Washington, DC. The government is a big bureaucracy and a big employer — and that makes it a nice, juicy target for a big data breach. [More]

(https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/14615153816)

Man Arrested For Allegedly “Corrupting” Wells Fargo Employees In Scheme To Access Customer Accounts

As a bank customer, you generally have an expectation that employees of said bank won’t share your personal or account information with someone that isn’t, in fact, you. But what happens when a person calls the bank claiming to be an account holder in the midst of an emergency and in need of quick cash? Federal prosecutors say that was the basis for a recent bank fraud scheme targeting Wells Fargo customers and employees. [More]

Senate Passes USA Freedom Act, Ushering In A Kindler, Gentler Era Of NSA Snooping

Senate Passes USA Freedom Act, Ushering In A Kindler, Gentler Era Of NSA Snooping

As expected following the June 1 expiration of one of the PATRIOT Act’s most controversial privacy-invading provisions, the Senate today passed a substitute bill, the USA FREEDOM Act (or rather, deep breath… the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2015) that prohibits the sort of mass data collection the National Security Agency enjoyed under the recently sunset Patriot provisions, but still leaves in place many concerns for privacy advocates. [More]

Patriot Act’s NSA Phone-Snooping Program Expires (For Now)

Patriot Act’s NSA Phone-Snooping Program Expires (For Now)

As lawmakers in D.C. flipped over their calendars from May to June last night, the sun set — at least temporarily — on the National Security Agency’s ability to collect mass amounts of information from telephone companies about their customers’ calls. [More]

Verizon Knows More About What You Watch On FiOS Than You Do

Verizon Knows More About What You Watch On FiOS Than You Do

Verizon isn’t a cable company. Its FiOS product doesn’t spring from decades of guaranteed local monopolies, which means most FiOS customers can, if they get annoyed enough, jump ship to a competitor. But you leaving is bad news for Verizon. They want to keep their subscribers. And they have an enormous mountain of highly personalized data on hand to try to do it with. [More]

Uber Proposes Simpler Privacy Policy, Will Let Riders See Their Ratings

Uber Proposes Simpler Privacy Policy, Will Let Riders See Their Ratings

One feature of ride-hailing app Uber that’s meant to keep riders from acting like complete jerks is mutual rating: passengers rate their drivers, sure, but drivers also rate passengers. Secretly. Users can’t see their own ratings, but they could prevent someone from being picked up at a busy time. The company has promised to clarify its privacy policy and allow passengers to see their own ratings. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Target Wants To Perfect Chip-and-PIN Before Venturing Into Digital Payment Methods

Consumers and businesses alike are always seeking out ways to streamline the checkout experience, most recently with mobile payment systems like Apple Pay and Android Pay. But there’s one major retailer that won’t be jumping into new payment options just yet. [More]

Data Breaches Now Cost Companies An Average Of $3.8M

Data Breaches Now Cost Companies An Average Of $3.8M

The aftermath of a now all-too-common data breach can be frustrating for consumers: canceling credit cards, monitoring credit reports for irregularities, and working with banks to recoup unauthorized purchases. But the hacks can also be expensive for the targeted company, with the average cost now sitting at a 10-year high of $3.8 million. [More]

(Cambodia4kids.org Beth Kanter)

Flickr Robots Auto-Tag Every Photo, Auto-Annoy Users

Flickr’s survival is a minor miracle of the Internet age: it’s one of the few sites that Yahoo acquired in the last decade that it didn’t kill off or change beyond all recognition. That’s because of its core base of very loyal and very talented users. Unfortunately, that kind of base means a popular uprising whenever anything about the site changes, a minor revolt happens. [More]

(DCvision2006)

FCC Warns Internet Providers To Comply With Privacy Rules

While some Internet service providers are aching to track users’ every online move so they can analyze and sell that data, the FCC is warning these companies that the Commission will be taking a hard look at these practices after the new net neutrality rules kick in next month. [More]

Health Insurer CareFirst Latest Hack Victim

Health Insurer CareFirst Latest Hack Victim

More than 1.1 million current and former members of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield are among the latest victims of a cyberattack, the health insurer confirmed this week. [More]

RadioShack Will Not Be Selling Your Phone Number To New Owners

RadioShack Will Not Be Selling Your Phone Number To New Owners

If you’re part of the 117 million or so names on RadioShack’s mailing list, we have good and bad news for you. Today, the Shack and various states’ attorneys general came to an agreement about what customer data may be sold to RadioShack’s new owners, and under what circumstances. Everyone has agreed that the Shack won’t be handing over customer phone numbers, but they also will be giving people on the mailing list only a week to opt out. [More]

IRS Investigating How Woman’s Tax Call Ended Up On Howard Stern Show

IRS Investigating How Woman’s Tax Call Ended Up On Howard Stern Show

A woman in Cape Cod thought she was just talking to an IRS representative over the phone, but what she — and apparently the agent — didn’t realize was that their call, including her personal info, was being broadcast to listeners of Howard Stern’s radio show. [More]

The RadioShack Bankruptcy Consumer Privacy Report Is Out

The RadioShack Bankruptcy Consumer Privacy Report Is Out

The most controversial part of the RadioShack bankruptcy auction has been the proposed sale of the company’s extensive collection of e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses. Everyone from Apple to most states’ attorneys general objects to this sale, which goes against the company’s privacy policy. That’s why the bankruptcy court appointed a privacy ombudsman to evaluate the situation and lay out some rules for how that information will be passed to the new owners of the RadioShack brand…or not. [More]